WVU men’s basketball player Harris charged with battery and destruction of property

By William Dean and Sean Manning, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia forward Wesley Harris  was charged with battery and destruction of property after he allegedly broke a man’s nose and dented a car.

Wesley Harris

Harris, 21, pleaded not guilty to the crime at an arraignment July 31 in Monongalia County Magistrate Court. Bond was set at $6,000 and was posted by Harris the same day.

Morgantown Police responded to the call just before 6 p.m. July 16.

A warrant was issued for Harris’ arrest July 18.

According to a criminal complaint, Ryan Casteel told officers that he accidentally turned the wrong way on Jones Avenue due to Stewart Street being closed when Harris, traveling on Jones Avenue, got out of his Chevrolet Avalanche with Mississippi plates and began arguing with him.

Casteel told officers he got out of his car and Harris threw him against his vehicle, denting and scratching it. He said Harris then pushed him to the ground and punched him several times, breaking his nose, the complaint said.

An unnamed bystander who works for WVU’s athletic department told the officer the attacker was Harris and Casteel and his fiancé said the attacker identified himself as Harris.

If convicted, Harris could spend up to a year in jail and/or fined up to $500.

“We are aware of the situation and the matter is being handled internally,” WVU said in a statement to The Dominion Post.

After coming from Northeast Mississippi Community College, Harris, a forward, started 37 games last season for the Mountaineers, averaging 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Harris was also reprimanded by the Big 12 for punching a fan following a court-storming at Texas Tech.

He was not suspended by the conference or WVU after the incident.

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